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East Asia Program presents: Laurie Freeman

341 Eggars Hall

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Galapagos or Alcatraz? Understanding Japan’s Information Regime Laurie Freeman Associate Professor of Political Science University of California, Santa Barbara Foreign correspondents, freelance journalists and others have been trying to break down Japanese collusive media practices, particularly the cartel-like “press [kisha] clubs” and other closed media entities for well over a half century -- with relatively little success. At the turn of the current century, many people thought that these institutions would collapse with the arrival of alternative information sources such as the internet. Indeed, similar institutions in Korea were transformed as a result of the rise of a technically-savvy and information hungry civil society there. Although Japan experienced some opening of its closed system in the last decade, it remains the only democratic nation to ban the use of the internet during the election campaign period. More importantly, an analysis of the handling of key information in the aftermath of the double disaster at Fukushima reveals that

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